Still life of the hand-laid leaf art countertop of Morning Fork diner in Sacramento, California. The countertop is decorated with dried leaves of different colors and shapes. A full coffee cup sits at the top right of the frame. It feels like home. (Photo by Ben Young Landis)

Expand Your Community | August-September 2019

News and Things for August-September 2019
Curated by Ben Young Landis

  • Attend the Second Congress of regional scicomm groups
  • Register for the final #CWYAscicomm workshop of 2019
  • A new page for ScienceWriters magazine
  • Artist communicates the experience of “deaf rage” in a hearing-biased world
  • Who are you calling a “trash fish”?
  • When the media failed Latinos
  • Upcoming workshops and events

Register for the “Congress” of Regional SciComm Groups, October 25th at Penn State

Around the United States, there are many independently organized local networks nurturing professional advancement for science journalists, writers, and communicators. These regional groups — serving geographic bases such as San Diego, Boston, Austin, and Seattle — each face operational challenges unique to their membership and landscape. Uniting these group leaders to share best practices and solve programmatic hurdles is the goal of the Congress of Regional Science Writers Groups (#SciWriCongress), founded in 2018 by Ben Young Landis and Marla Vacek Broadfoot. Anyone interested in this dialog is invited to attend the Second SciWriCongress, convening this fall at Penn State University. You must register as attendees of the NASW ScienceWriters annual conference (deadline October 10th) in order to participate. See you in October! (About the SciWriCongress | Register through #SciWri19 | Photos from the First Congress)

Final #CWYAscicomm Workshop on September 20th

September 20th will be the final offering of the “Connecting with Your Audience: Tools for Effective Science Communication” workshop for 2019. Designed for professionals in government, industry, and academia who need to explain technical concepts to non-experts, this training course puts emphasis on the craft of “conversational scicomm” through interactive learning, team work, and improv practice. If you are unable to attend this session, ask your institution or organization to book a #CWYAscicomm workshop for early 2020. (Register for our September 20th workshop in Sacramento | Find past workshop photos on Twitter | Book a private workshop)

A New Page for ScienceWriters Magazine

Repeating the success of #OurOwlFriends, #CCST30th, and other campaigns, Ben Young Landis (Creative Externalities) and Guy Rogers (Spark Creative Design) are proud to reveal their latest collaboration: an all-color complete redesign of ScienceWriters magazine — the membership publication of the National Association of Science Writers. Serving a professional community of more than 2,300 journalists, writers, editors, creators, instructors, and students, the redesign adds new departments, original art, and layout elements that improve the reader experience while bringing conversations to life. Look for our design story online in the coming months. (More glimpses of the new #SciWriMag | Retweet the reveal | Inquire about an institutional subscription)

“Degrees of Deaf Rage While Traveling”

From “Uber driver calls instead of texting” to “movies with no captions on plane” to “getting hit in the head with a bag of peanuts by a flight attendant who tries to get our attention”, artist Christine Sun Kim communicates the frustrations of living deaf in a hearing-biased world through her charcoal drawings. Pieces such as “Degrees of Deaf Rage While Traveling” and “Degrees of My Deaf Rage in the Art World” translate her experiences with surgical snark and sensitivity — helping audiences understand and share in these intimate reactions to discrimination. (Read the New York Times profile of Christine Sun Kim | Christine Sun Kim portfolio)

Redeeming the Value of “Trash Fish”

Anglers prize certain species as “sport fish” and deride others as “trash fish”. But, does this labeling negatively affect public attitudes towards biodiversity? Solomon David — biology professor at Nicholls State University in Louisiana and a mainstay of the #FishTwitter community — pondered the question in a recent essay. “All native species have important roles to play in their respective ecosystems; many of those roles we are yet to uncover, or even fully understand,” David writes, hoping that a name change can also lead to a sea change in conservation awareness.  (Read Solomon David’s essay in The Fisheries Blog | Follow Solomon David’s #GarLab tweets)

When the Media Failed Latinos

Writing after the mass shooting hate crime that took place on August 3rd in El Paso, Texas, National Public Radio journalist Lulu Garcia-Navarro offered a pointed critique of the treatment of Latinx audiences by leading U.S. news organizations. “The top story in a broadcast signals to the audience which topics matter most. And despite the fact that the attacker purposefully targeted Latinos, that is not what most outlets chose to emphasize,” Garcia-Navarro observed. The essay provides a poignant snapshot of the historic problem of underrepresentation in journalism — and areas of opportunity to seed lasting change. (Read Lulu Garcia-Navarro’s essay in The Atlantic)

Upcoming Events

September 20th Workshop: “Connecting with Your Audience: Tools for Effective Science Communication” with Ben Young Landis (Sacramento, California)

October 25th Meeting: Second Congress of Regional Science Writers Groups, hosted by Marla Vacek Broadfoot and Ben Young Landis (State College, Pennsylvania)

October 26th Panel: “How Can We Solve the Diversity Dearth in U.S. Science Writing?” produced by Clinton Parks, Kelly Tyrrell, and Ben Young Landis (State College, Pennsylvania)

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“Have fun. Do no harm. Leave the world a better place.”

— Ben Young Landis